Once upon a time there was a red castle that sat in a field of green clover.

Inside, lived a very lonely man.

He had told his wife he hated her and never loved her, so she had left him.

His daughter cried. He laughed in her face. She stopped crying, packed her bags and had left him.

His son had hoped his father would reap upon him, his praise for his loyalty. But, he only received lashes from his father’s belt. The man watched as his son left him.

The red castle faded to pink. The clover dried up to brown.

The man stood among the rotting decay. The man felt deep despair.

Then he heard the thunder and felt the rain on top of his head. It was cold, chilling him to the bone.

The man fell to his knees, covered his face, and cried.

The rain stopped. He raised his face up to the heavens. He was bathed in a golden light.

He stood, ran out of the castle, saddled his horse and searched for his family.

He first found his wife, and lavished expensive gifts on her. She turned on back on him and told him to take them away.

Next he found his daughter. She had married and now was with child. He begged her to come home. She closed the door in his face.

His son, who he had beaten with his belt, would not speak to him.

He was confused and did not understand. He bought them expensive gifts, yet they would not come home with him.

He called upon an old friend and begged him to gather his family. He brought the gifts and told them how much he missed them. How his life was incomplete without them.

They showed no response. He cried. They showed no emotion. It seemed hopeless he would get his family back.

Then he apologized for bothering them. He apologized for the past. He went back home to the castle, alone. The gifts he had given them, had already arrived at his door.

A peaceful feeling came over him. He knew in his heart, he was a changed man.

One day, two months after his arrival home, a carriage arrived bearing his daughter, her husband and her newborn child. She told him that all they wanted to hear from his lips, was an apology for his past behavior. They had forgiven him. His wife and son soon followed.

He repaired the castle and brought the clover back it green. The castle was like a ruby on a field of emeralds.

As the man aged, he spent many days in the field of green clover, playing with his first grandchild and those that followed.

He was a happy man at last.

 

Lonely Castle Photo by Ferad Zyulkyarov – Own work